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Mayhem galore as criminals terrorise Nakuru residents

By Roy Lumbe
Friday, August 7th, 2020
Some of 25 members of the ‘Confirmed’ criminal gang at the Nakuru court on November 13, 2017 where they were charged with falsely presenting themselves as workers from Safaricom Limited by sending messages. Photo/PD/RAPHAEL MUNGE
In summary
    • Members live by crime to complement their heavy appetite for quick cash and which revolves around alcohol, partying and sex.
    • Outlawed gangs include “Gaza” and “Confirm” which are believed to be scattered across the county with their modus operandi well set out.

The resurgence of criminal gangs in Nakuru slums has brought about untold suffering for residents narrating tales of ruthlessness in their hands.   

They resurface at will, staging lethal surprise attacks and no one has been spared from their wrath.   

Members who are believed to be between the ages of 15-30 years live by crime to complement their heavy appetite for quick cash and which revolves around alcohol, partying and sex.   

They steal and terrorise locals in their pursuit for money no matter the price, some have invaded business premises where they force traders to pay ‘protection fee’.    

In their ‘dens’ they have taken over illegal water points where they charge a fee for residents to access the crucial commodity while others provide electricity from illegal connection points.   

Sleepless night

The outlawed gangs include “Gaza” and “Confirm” which are believed to be scattered across the county with their modus operandi well set out.   

They operate in groups, each with distinctive identities while robbing and harming residents within specific marked territories.   

In Kivumbini slum, women have sleepless nights, thanks to the gangsters. The estate has for a long time been a den of drug trafficking, muggings and robberies with a number of its victims forced to relocate.   

Residents accuse local politicians of protecting the gang which has been terrorising residents in Kivumbini, Lake View, Ronda, Kaptembwa, Flamingo, Kaloleni and Bondeni among others.   

They allege that the gang has changed tact and are now harassing widows and women who stay alone in the estate demanding cash and other valuables.

 “One tried to break into my house and once I screamed, the guy was so daring and told me to open up and face him if I was woman enough,” one of the residents said.   

According to them, the gang has already profiled people living in the slum areas adding that they rarely break into houses occupied by men.   

They revealed that once they gain entrance to the estate, they specifically lock the doors of houses rented by men to prevent them from coming out as they unleash terror.   

“There is an active curfew but how these young men move around at night is worrying, we cannot sleep, they want us to open our houses and it is terrifying,” she added.   

Another resident said the gangsters have been moving from house to house to confirm the alertness of the tenants before breaking in.   

“We are appealing to the government to intervene, we need arrests made since these people have become so daring and we are tired,” they added.     

Lock doors

Last month, members of the Confirm gang and the counterparts from Gaza had a nasty confrontation where one person was killed forcing security agencies to deploy its officers to avert a bloodbath in retaliatory attacks. 

A number of houses were torched during the confrontation.   

Peter Tena, a Nakuru resident and a human rights activist with KIDPO Kenya, accuses police of colluding with the gangsters.

He notes that for a long time, police have created a network with criminal informants in the gangs and at times give them immunity from prosecution.  

Tena added that slowly the informers view themselves as shareholders in matters of security adding that some go rogue and give information to the gangs about police operations.  

“There is common sharing of information which in turns compromises the police and in turn the groups cannot be contained,” said Tena.  

He further called on parents to monitor their children while at home adding that many are falling prey to radicalization into joining the gangs. 

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